AFFECTED landowners have decided to pay $30,000 to appoint an independent panel reviewing planning scheme amendment C104.
In February council decided to dump the costs onto landowners in a controversial decision which will see some people benefit from zoning changes, allowing smaller lots to be created.
It applies to the Echuca South East Rural Living Precinct, including land generally to the south of Murray Valley Hwy, west of Simmie Rd, north of Kelsh Rd, east (and partially west) of Mary Ann Rd.
Campaspe planning and building manager Andrew Fletcher said he expected the panel would be appointed by the end of May.
‘‘We’ve had commitment from the landowners (of which there were more than 100 but not everyone has to contribute) that they’ve raised the money,’’ Mr Fletcher said.
‘‘We’ve put the money in a trust and already approached to appoint the panel hearing.’’
At the council meeting in February not everyone agreed the cost should be carried by the affected landowners.
Four people spoke to the amendment and a further 21 submissions were received.
Of the 21 submissions received, eight were in support, six were seeking changes and seven were objections.
Those against the amendment requested their properties be re-zoned, with one man requesting land to be re-zoned as ‘‘equine living’’. The size of the lots, roads being widened, drainage, further infrastructure needing to be provided and transport issues were also highlighted.
Council was also criticised for not ‘‘genuinely consulting’’ with the community.
Cr Kris Munro spoke against the motion, foreshadowing an alternative motion, whereby the impacted people would not have to wear the costs.
Council discovered the proposed amendment after a single application was submitted. It then started investigating the possibility of changing the lot sizes for the entire area.
At a council meeting in 2015 council determined to request the Planning Minister for authorisation to prepare and exhibit the amendment.
Eventually the amendment was released for public exhibition and submissions were received.
Because there were some that could not be resolved, a panel now has to be appointed.